Departure and Return
Isaiah 10:20-23
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob…

The passage suggests -

I. THAT THOSE WHO KNOW GOD WELL MAY BE INDUCED TO FORSAKE HIM. Israel had been well taught of God; had been carefully and constantly instructed in Divine truth; had received some lessons which might well have been deeply planted in the mind. Yet Israel forsook Jehovah; ceased to trust in his delivering arm, and sought alliance with Assyria. So we, who should know much better, forsake the Lord, of whose power, faithfulness, and love we have learned so much. Instead of finding our joy and our heritage in his service and friendship, we resort to the fascinations of a seductive world; instead of relying on his promised succor, we have recourse to human help or to material securities.

II. THAT EVERY EARTHLY REFUGE PROVES TO BE PRECARIOUS. Resting on Assyria, Israel was only "staying upon him that smote them." The staff on which they leaned proved to be a rod that bruised them. So has it been, again and again, with national and political alliances. So is it with our individual confidences in earth rather than in heaven. The material securities fail us; the ship sinks, the bank breaks, the mine is exhausted, the company is defrauded and has to be wound up, trade declines, and our earthly prop is gone. The human help we built upon disappears; our friend sickens, or he is killed in the fatal accident, or he is himself stripped and helpless, or he is estranged from us and discards us. Our hope becomes our disappointment, our pride becomes our shame; we have been staying on that which smites us (see Jeremiah 17:5; Psalm 118:6-9; Isaiah 31:1).

III. THAT GOD AWAITS THE RETURN OF HIS PEOPLE TO HIMSELF. "They shall stay upon the Lord;" "The remnant shall return unto the mighty God" (vers. 20, 21). Not only was God not unwilling that his people should return unto him, but he sent them their adversity in order that they might see their folly and incline their hearts unto himself.

1. God is grieved at our departure from himself, but he is willing to welcome us back.

2. He sends the adversity which is suggestive of our return. When the dark hour comes, when the soul sits desolate, when our heart is wounded by the very hand which we hoped would help and heal us, in that day may we hear the voice of the Father we have forsaken, calling to us and saying, "Return unto me;" "I will heal your backslidings, I will love you freely." - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.

WEB: It will come to pass in that day that the remnant of Israel, and those who have escaped from the house of Jacob will no more again lean on him who struck them, but shall lean on Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.

Adversity May Reach the Hard Heart
Top of Page
Top of Page